Heart Rhythm 2014: OSA Treatment & Atrial Fibrillation Recurrence


The Particulars: Research has shown that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) appears to predict the onset of atrial fibrillation (AF). Few studies have evaluated whether treating OSA has an effect on AF recurrence, but these investigations have resulted in outcomes  that are inconclusive.

Data Breakdown: A meta-analysis of six case-control studies was conducted and involved more than 1,000 patients with OSA and AF who were treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Across all studies, CPAP use was associated with a significant reduction in AF recurrence over 15 months of follow-up. Over 25 months of follow-up, pulmonary vein isolation was associated with a significantly reduced risk of AF recurrence.

Take Home Pearl: Treating OSA with CPAP or pulmonary vein isolation appears to significantly reduce the likelihood of AF recurrence among patients with both conditions.

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